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so advanced a period of the session, as would render it impossible for the House to go fully into the inquiry?
Mr. Barham said, that at present, Thursday se'nnight was the firll open day. He vindicated himself from the charge of delay, for reasons which he had formerly assigned. A» to the advanced period of the session, he, as well as the Hon. Gentleman, did not expect that any inquiry would be granted.
Mr. Grey said, that if the Hon. Gentleman made out any charge which demanded inquiry, he did hope that an inquiry would take place. But if the Hon. Gentleman brought forward his motion at a time that he conceived an inquiry would not be granted, he left to him and to the House to determine on the fairness of such a proceeding.
PRINCE OF WALES'S ESTABLISHMENT AND DEBTS.
Mr. Steele brought up the Report of the resolutions of the Committee on his Majesty's Message, relative to an establishment for his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, on which a desultory conversation took place.
Mr. M. A. Taylor rose to give his reasons why he had the preceding night voted for the larger sum; it was because he was in hopes that the measure for effecting it, proposed by his Right Hon. Friend (Mr. Fox) would have been adopted; But he assured the House, that he did not vote for the sura of an hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds on the idea of the Right Hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the debts of the Prince were to be paid off by so very flo*degrees as to leave some of them existing for so long a tirtfijfSs twenty-seven years. This, he said, could not be considered as relieving the Prince, or rendering his situation more easy; it was not relieving him in the manner Parliament should do; for it only held out the name of relief, while it left him, 'nearly as much embarrassed as ever.
He wished to throw out for consideration, notwithstanding the unpopularity attached to it, whether it would not be better for the Prince and for the Public too, to have the debt put in a way of immediate liquidation, the various item* being first submitted to the investigation of Commissioners to be appointed by Parliament j for he thought it very likely, that, if fairly ascertained, they would not amount to the sum given in. Most of the Gentlemen in that House, he said, were well acquainted with the nature of those tilings, and could tell how borrowed money was to be'paid, and how articles got on credit were always charged, particularly to a person of the Prince's rank. Mr. Taylor enlarged upon the extortion and frauds to which the Prince was subject, and exemplified; it by the recital of a matter of fa£t which had come within his own immediate knowledge.—" A friend of his, caught with the elegance of a pair of buckles in a certain shop, went in to buy them; the shopkeeper demanded four guineas and a half, which the gentleman thinking an exorbitant price} declined giving; but Hill retaining a with for the buckles, returned in a few days and asked for them, when, to his surprise, he was informed that the Prince of Wales had taken a liking to, and sent for them, and that he (the shopkeeper) had let his Royal Highness have them for fifteen guineas." It was therefore, Mr. Taylor contended, for the interest of the Prince and the Public, to ascertain the extent, the nature, and the grounds of the debts; and that being done, the Parliament should pay them, and make the Prince an allowance—sufficiently splendid,but not so splendid as they would, if no such incumbrances existed. As for the plan of the Right Hon. Gentleman (Mr. Pitt), it would not extri* cate'him, and he would have again to submit similar demands to Parliament.
Colonel Stanley said, that if he had been present the preceding night, he would have voted for the smaller sum, because he conceived that a profuse expenditure of the public money would do more mischief than all the seditious pamphlets that had been published for seven years past.
Mr. Cur-wen gave notice, that he should follow up on a suture day what he had said the preceding night, and propose that the whole of the sixty-five thousand pounds should be applied to the liquidation of the Prince's debts. And one reason of his doing this was, that he was certain many pf the creditors would take less than their demand if they were offered prompt payment.
Mr, Jolifse said, that he should feel it a duty he owed to himself and to the Public, to state the reasons that induced him to vote for the sum of one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds, as the establifliment of the Prince of Wales. That a Prince of Wales may live with comfort, as well aa some splendour, on half that sum, is certain; that he may live with more comfort, because with less splendour, even on a quarter of that sum, is true 5 but as the House and the Public have thought it necessary that any Prince of Walea should have at least one hundred thousand pounds a year over and above the revenues of the Dutchy of Cornwall, he wa8 astonished that there could be a moment's haggling, or a syllable os dispute, about the addition of twenty-sive thousand pounds to a Prince of the many and knpwn excellencies of the present Prince of Wales. What was absolutely necessary for bare maintenance was small; but when the country chose, for their own state, for their own magnificence, that the Heir to the Crown should appear with splendour, to dispute about twenty-five thousand pounds to a person of the elegance, munificence, and taste of the Prince of Wales, was beyond his conception—what he could not have suspected in that House of Commons. That one hundred thousand pounds a year was necessary or proper he did not mean to state, but he took it on the universal position of every body, that that sum was necessary; and if so, he was amazed that a dispute on this occasion should have arisen respecting the remaining twenty-five thousand pounds. How it came that a Prince of Wales was ever considered as a person of such necessary large expence, he would not pretend to determine, because, positively speaking, he is no public character •, but, on the position that one hundred thousand pounds is not more than enough for any Prince of Wales, he must take leave to fay, that one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds is not too much for this. But he said, what chiefly called him up' to speak was, the manner in which the Prince had been treated, which he conceived to be unjust and illiberal in the highest, degree.
The Right Hon. Gentleman (Mr. Pitt), whose epithets were not of so coarse a nature as some, but not the less severe, though he did not knock down with a bludgeon, he wounded ten times deeper with a razor. He had, in his manner, if not in precise words, used every ill-natured expression he could utter. The other Right Hon. Gentleman (Mr. Fox) had positively stated a breach of engagement on the part of the Prince in the message that House had received, that no farther debt should be incurred. Good God, Sir, said he, that such a reproach should come from such a quarter! There may be faults to which we may not be subject ourselves, which it is but charity to overlook in others ; .but of all men living, that that Right Hon. Gentleman should condemn the Priftce for being in debt, and then, on the promise of a future amendment, that he should err again, is the last of ex-' t.raordinary measures which he could have suspected him to be guilty of. What, Sir, is this wonderful unpardonable offence? He contracted a debt (a small one in the comparison of the power of this country to pay) •, he had not the controul of his own income 5 it has ever been at the disposal of others, and when that debt was paid, he incurred in some i#ars a new incumbrance. The Prince does not.affect to be more than, man, and therefore he is subject to the frailties, of
■ voung Jcnrog men, and thev are slight ones. Is there a man here who lat been able precisely to keep every pecuniary engagement that he has been induced to make i I wish, -Sir, said Mr. Jolitff-, that we had any of us half the good qualities of the Prince, and not more faults. Is there any man who hears me who would think this an unpardonable fault in his son? But is there any man who can boast he has a son like the Prince? He is the first Gentleman—the most polished, the most gracious, the most good-natured and benevolent of men. But, beside, he is Heir Apparent to the Chief Magistracy of the country; and we have been haggling all night whether the nation should grant to him, to maintain and keep up an establishment, not of his own forming, twenty-five thousand pounds. But, Sir, the most affronting part of the whole transaction is that where fifty thousand pounds was proposed as the jointure of the Princess, there was almost an universal cry of nemine contradlctnte. So that after you had been squabbling about twenty-five thousand pounds to the Prince, who is Heir Apparent to the throne, who was bom and bred up among you, whom we all know, and most of us with the utmost familiarity, whom we ought to love and esteem, as an affront to him we are to vote, without a dissenting voice, fifty thousand pounds a year to the Princess after his death, whom we have scarcely seen, of whom we tnow nothing; who may be as excellent as stie is literally fair, but who may be the direct reverse. He must say, that expressing unanimity on such an occasion, after what had passed, was a positive affront to the Prince, because it would be marking not their inability, but their disinclination. He could mean no disrespect to the Princess, but as he wished respect to the Prince, he could not suffer this vote to appear to pass with perfect unanimity.
Mr. Hawkins Brruin approved of the smaller sum, on the ground of the necessity of the most rigid economy, in order to enable the country to support the expences of the present contest, and 25,0001. a year, in such times as the present, was a very important consideration.
General Tirletan thought that his Majesty's ministers had managed the nuptials and establishment very badly, or, to use a vulgar expression, put the cart before the horse. They should have provided for the establishment before they brought the Princess over to share in the bad fortunes of the Prince. In private life, no father of honour would agree to his son, if deeply in debt, marrying any woman. This came home, he thought, to the ministers, in the present case.
Mr. fVhitbread said, that he had the preceding night abstained from speaking, lest he should have been betrayed into
any any thing that might be unpleasant. He now wished to ask from the.Right Hon. Gentleman, why the establishment of the Prince was dated from the loth of October last; this he conceived to be no less then a fraud upon the Public. An Honourable Gentleman (Mr. Jolliffe) had said that their conduct towards the Prince was liberal, contrasted with that which they had observed to his Royal Consort; if the Prince was in a state of discredit with the House, they had not put him in that situation. He could not help thinking that his Royal Highness, after the solemn pledge which he had formerly given, was extremely ill-advised to put his sacred word at hazard by the present application. The only way to enable him to retrieve his credit was to give him an establishment of ioo,ooo'. out of which he might make provision for the liquidation of his debts. He must also remark that it was extremely indecent to advise his Royal Highness, under his present circumstances, to take up an expensive establishment, before he knew whether that House would be disposed to grant a sum adequate for the purpose. He must conclude with saying, that retirement in the Prince's cafe was infinitely more honourable than court splendour. As there were virtues, which no obscurity of station could shroud, so there were likewise circumstances, which no splendour of rank could veil.
The Chancelkt of the Exchequer explained the circumstance of the establishment being dated from the loth of October, by stating that it was occasioned by the extraordinary expences necessarily incurred in the first instance, and the length of time during which the arrival of the Princess had been expected.
Mr. Whitbread expressed himself satisfied with this explana. tion, but said he found upon the table an account of 68,oool. for plate and jewels, when the sum allowed was only 27,0001.
Mr. Grey said, that no doubt the House would be ready to make a liberal provision for the past, if they saw any promise with respect to the future. But what must they think when they sound, that the Prince, on the eve of his present application, had not only exhausted the additional sum granted for his establishment, but contracted a new debt of 68,0001.? He concluded with moving, that instead of 65,0001., 40,0001. be inserted in the resolution.—The amendment was negatived.
Mr. Hujsey thea moved an amendment, " that a sum be provided, by a sale of part of the land revenue of the Crown, or of the Dutchy of Cornwall, sufficient to replace the same which, after a short conversation, similar to that vrhich took
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